CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – The Michigan State baseball team split a doubleheader at Austin Peay on Sunday, as the Spartans fell in game one, 7-2, but won game two, 4-3. The Spartans are now 4-4 on the season, while the Governors are 8-2.
In the second game, Spartan starter David Garner tossed seven shutout innings while striking out seven and surrendering just five hits, while freshman Justin Alleman notched his first career save.
Blaise Salter led MSU at the plate with four hits on the day.
The three-game series was originally scheduled to start on Friday, but winter weather in the Clarksville, Tenn., area pushed the series back two days. The third and final game will start at 5 p.m. ET on Monday.
Austin Peay, who has appeared in the past two NCAA Tournaments after winning Ohio Valley Conference Tournament titles in 2011 and 2012, entered the weekend off to its best start since the 1958 season with a 7-1 record. The Governors improved to 8-1 with a 7-2 victory in the first game of the doubleheader, scoring two runs in the third and three in the fifth to take a commanding 5-0 lead.
Andrew Waszak (1-1) took the loss for the Spartans after giving up five runs, three earned, on four hits in his six innings of work.
MSU out-hit APSU, 11-7, but left nine men on base, including four in scoring position. The Spartans scored their only two runs in the top of the seventh to cut their deficit to 5-2 as Jordan Keur had an RBI groundout and Ryan Krill delivered a run-scoring single, but the Governors bounced right back and answered with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning.
Salter, Ryan Richardson and Jimmy Pickens each collected two hits in the loss for MSU.
Casey Delgado (2-1) earned the win after pitching six shutout innings while striking out five, although he did allow eight hits. Kacy Kemmer hurled the final three innings to record his first save of the season.
Garner’s excellent performance on the mound in game two halted Austin Peay’s seven-game winning streak, as the Spartans edged the Governors, 4-3.
Garner improved to 2-0 as he threw seven shutout innings on 99 pitches, including a season-high seven strikeouts.
MSU took a 1-0 lead in the second on Pickens’ solo homer to right-center field, his first of the season. The Spartans took advantage of walks to Richardson and Krill in the fifth as Salter brought both of them home on a two-run double to left-center field, making it 3-0 in favor of Michigan State.
Justin Hovis’ RBI single in the sixth increased MSU’s lead to 4-0.
Kinley, who relieved Garner to begin the eighth, gave up three runs on three hits in the frame as Austin Peay trimmed the Spartan lead to 4-3.
The Governors threatened in the bottom of the ninth by placing runners on first and third with one out, but Kinley picked off pinch runner Brett Carlson at first base to record the second out; however, Kinley walked the next batter, Jordan Hankins, and gave way to Alleman.
Placed in a tough situation – runners on first and third with two outs in the bottom of the ninth – Alleman responded by getting Craig Massoni to line out to Keur in left. It marked Alleman’s first collegiate save.
A live broadcast and live stats of the series finale on Monday can be found at APSUGovernors.com. Twitter updates will be available @statebaseball.
Following Monday’s contest, Michigan State continues its spring break trip with two games at Tennessee Tech (Tuesday-Wednesday) in Cookeville, Tenn.